It’s exhilarating to wake up before dawn and be rewarded with a beautiful sunrise to shoot. In this Lightroom and Photoshop tutorial, follow along as I edit a beautiful dock at sunrise from start-to-finish.

Here are the step-by-step instructions to make it easier for you to follow along with this Lightroom and Photoshop tutorial. Click Here to download the RAW file to follow along with this Photoshop and Lightroom tutorial.

Lightroom and Photoshop Tutorial Cheat Sheet

  1. Open the Raw file in Lightroom, and in the Basic panel of the Develop module adjust the Highlights to -50, Shadows to 74.
  2. Press the Alt (Mac: Option) key and drag the Whites slider to the right till you start to see highlights appear ( I adjusted the Whites to 15). This will give you a good White point.
  3. Press the Alt (Mac: Option) key and drag the Blacks slider to the left till you start to see shadows appear ( I adjusted the Blacks to -8). This will give you a good Black point.
  4. Grab the Graduated Filter and draw it over the lower portion of the sky.
  5. Adjust the Exposure to -44, the Highlights to -48, the Temp to 4, and the Tint to 2.
  6. Back in the Basic panel, adjust Clarity to -7
  7. Grab the Brush tool and double-click on the word Effect to reset all sliders for the Brush to 0 and increase Clarity to 39.
  8. Paint over the clouds.
  9. Adjust Clarity to 60, Exposure to -.07, and Contrast to 8.
  10. Grab the Brush tool again and double-click on the word Effect to reset the sliders.
  11. Increase Exposure to .82 and paint over the boats. (turn Aut0 Mask on and outline first, then turn it off and fill it in.)
  12. Increase Exposure to 1.35 and Temp to 22.
  13. Click on New for a new brush and set Exposure to .63 and Temp to 15.
  14. Paint over areas you want to brighten, such as the dock and other boats.
  15. Click on the circle on the boat in the foreground to activate that brush and adjust Exposure to 1.05 and Clarity to 19
  16. Open the Detail panel and zoom in.
  17. Adjust Amount to 72, Radius to 1.3, and Detail to 36
  18. Open the Lens Corrections panel and turn on Remove Chromatic Aberration and Enable Profile Corrections.
  19. Open the Effects Panel and Adjust Amount to -19, Midpoint to 14 and Feather to 100.
  20. Go to the Photo menu and select Edit in Adobe Photoshop cc.
  21. In Photoshop add a new blank layer and grab the Spot Healing brush (J).
  22. Make sure Content-Aware and Sample All Layers are turned on.
  23. Paint over any distractions you’d like to remove.
  24. Switch back to Lightroom and in the Basic panel boost Exposure to .60 and Whites to 11.



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